Saturday, December 08, 2012


My Playstation 3 died this morning. She was 4 years old.

I purchased the PS3 as a used piece of machinery from a video game store not long after I moved to Wake Forest, North Carolina. It was early 2008 and I had recently received my tax refund check. I had money to burn. At the time, I could have very easily talked myself out of buying the thing. After all, it's not a cheap system, even if it's used. But I very easily talked myself into buying it. The version I bought was backwards compatible, meaning I could play all those PS2 games I had accumulated since college. It was a Bluray player, meaning I could watch lots of awesome movies in high definition. That was enough to get my money.

Later, the PS3 became an even more awesome investment since I was able to play streaming movies through Netflix. Over the years, with the ridiculous expense of cable, the Playstation 3 has become my all-in-one entertainment center. I've had no need for, really, anything else. Cable's useless. I rarely watch TV live anymore since Hulu Plus is also available on the Playstation. Fewer commercials that way.

Last night, before going to bed, I decided to watch a DVD. For record keeping purposes, the movie was The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. It was a good movie. Once it ended, I turned off the system (leaving the disc in it) and went to bed.

This morning I had some free time. So I thought it would be fun to play a video game. Something I rarely do during the school year. Things get in the way and I just don't have the time. I turned on the system. The red light turned green, letting me know it was powering up. It quickly flashed yellow. Then switched back to red. Then it was flashing. There was no indication of the disc inside it. When I tried to eject the movie, the machine just beeped angrily at me.

I called the good people at Sony customer service. I told the woman on the line basically what I just typed above. Apparently she wasn't listening because her first bit of advice was to turn on the Playstation. Seriously? That's your first step? I hadn't thought of that. Why didn't I think to turn the machine on?

When I explained, again, that the PS3 could not be turned on, she told me that I have two options. My first option would be to have the system shipped to Sony so they could fix it. This would cost me $129 plus tax and shipping. They would be able to retrieve the disc but there was really no guarantee that they could fix the machine. Option 2 involved trading in my current, old school PS3 for a newer model to the tune of $99 plus tax and shipping. The problem there is I lose everything I've saved on the PS3 hard drive. Also, the new models are not backwards compatible. So all those old PS2 games I have become worthless pieces of round plastic.

"So, basically, I'm screwed," I said into the phone. My voice came out of my mouth with an extremely irritated tone. I immediately apologized to the woman on the other end of the line. It wasn't her fault that the Playstation decided to kick the bucket. She just happened to be the unfortunate operator who happened to pick up when I was next in the queue. And she probably gets calls from customers more irate than me all the time. I hate sounding pissed off with someone who had nothing to do with my actual problem.

Since I had nothing to lose, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I haven't been under warranty for a very long time. So I broke the seal. I opened her up. I took her apart. I got my movie back. But that's all I was able to successfully do.

I looked online and, apparently, my problem has been deemed the "Yellow Light of Death." YouTubers have posted numerous videos explaining how to fix the problem. It involves a hair dryer and about 45 minutes of your day. Unfortunately, I don't have a hair dryer. And even if I did, they all make it clear that this is not a permanent fix. Eventually, the Yellow Light of Death would return to claim the PS3 again. That kind of makes me ask the question, "What's the point?"

So I've decided to let it go. I got angry. It's a huge inconvenience. But it doesn't end my life. So now I've accepted it. I can get by without a Playstation 3 for a while. Eventually, I'll be able to save up enough money to buy a brand new Playstation. And it will be a luxury item that I will once again be able to enjoy.

Or maybe it's not just an inconvenience. Maybe it's just another sign of the apocalypse. Why are the Mayans screwing with me!?

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